As a craft beer enthusiast, you have a select list of beers you gravitate towards. Some of them are your staples that you can pick up any time you like. Others are seasonal releases you wait anxiously for throughout the year. And some of them you experienced because you were in a different market and something brand new jumped out at you or a buddy tossed one to you at a cookout.
In Western Pennsylvania, one beer that’s never officially been sold but has gained an incomparable reputation is New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire Amber Ale. From both personal experience and having heard people at the bar talking about it, the one important task that gets thrust upon anyone taking a road trip to states like Ohio and Virginia is simply this: “Bring me back some Fat Tire.”
The demand for New Belgium’s flagship beer amongst the patrons of our region’s booming craft beer community has finally reached a point so high, your friends, family, and co-workers no longer have to make a cross-state beer run for you. Come end of summer, New Belgium will be available in our own backyard!
After a much-anticipated and frequently-begged-for break into the Pittsburgh market, New Belgium Brewing is coming to town and will release its first lineup of offerings to Steel City craft beer fanatics on August 31st, 2015. This expansion brings yet another powerhouse brewery into our hoppy, malty landscape and further solidifies the fact that Pittsburgh is making tremendous strides towards being a top craft beer destination in the United States.
New Belgium, founded in 1991 in Fort Collins, Colorado, has become one of the country’s biggest and most recognized breweries. Their rise in popularity has spread from one border to the other and demand for their solid, well-balanced craft offerings has reached the point that plans for a new brewery in Asheville, North Carolina are unfolding as we speak. These plans for East Coast expansion included initiatives that would bring their beers into Kentucky, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and, of course, Pittsburgh. New Belgium’s Asheville production brewery is on course to be brew-ready by the end of 2015.
These beers set the tone for the brewery’s foundation and Jeff’s wife Kim Jordan became actively involved in the operations, serving as New Belgium’s first bottler, sales representative, distributor, marketer, and financial planner. The successful donning of many hats led to the company’s growth and Kim’s ascension to the company’s CEO. As the story goes, Jeff’s beers got enough praise from family and friends for he and Kim to take that leap of faith and go commercial in 1991. Nearly 25 years and a lineup of creative offerings that have captivated the masses later, New Belgium is on the cusp of celebrating their Silver Anniversary as the 4th-highest craft brewery in regards to beer sales volume according to data released by the Brewers Association in 2014.
New Belgium has partnered with Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale to launch their product in Pittsburgh. As you undoubtedly move to the edge of your seat awaiting their debut, you’re probably wondering what offerings you’ll see on tap and on display at your friendly neighborhood distributor. Well, wonder no more. The following is a breakdown of what you can expect to see, as well as descriptions for each beer courtesy of NewBelgium.com:
Fat Tire: What a cruel trick it would be if Fat Tire WASN’T one of the releases, right?! Named in honor of our co-founder’s bike trip through Europe, Fat Tire marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer’s home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader palette of ingredients (fruits, spices, esoteric yeast strains) than German or English styles. Together with co-founder Kim Jordan, they traveled around sampling their homebrews to the public. Fat Tire won fans with its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness. Fat Tire: Pairs well with people.
Ranger IPA: This clear amber India Pale Ale beauty bursts at the starting gate with an abundance of hops: Cascade (citrus), Chinook (floral/citrus), and Simcoe (fruity) lead off the beer, with Cascade added again for an intense dry hop flavor. Brewed with pale and dark caramel malts that harmonize the hop flavor from start to finish, Ranger is a sessionable splendor for all you hopinistas. Thank your Beer Ranger!
Slow Ride Session IPA: Kicking back and relaxing with a session beer requires little more than a couch, some free time, and a few pals. Slow Ride is up for this easy-going challenge, starting with a pour of sheened gold and plenty of fluffy, white foam. A blend of eight hop varieties, led by exotic Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin, twist together brilliant tropical scents of melon, peach, lime and grapefruit for a vividly fruity aroma. The flavor mirrors the aroma, while balancing a malty-sweet yet clean start and hoppy bitterness in the back. Light bodied and extra quaffable, this sessionable India Pale Ale brings the finish line to you.
Snapshot Tart Wheat: Snap! You just captured an unfiltered wheat beer full of refreshment and a flash of tart at the finish. Smile-inducing aromas of citrus hops jump from the nose, accompanied by the sweetness of coriander and grains of paradise. Brewed with wheat and pale malt, Snapshot beer pours a hazy, lemon-yellow with bright-white lacing. But the real enticement is the snap of tart. New Belgium’s affinity for sour beers led to the in-process blending of lactobacillus to pucker up Snapshot’s base. An extra step to acidify and beautify and get this beer ready for its close up.
Pumpkick: What’s that bite of tartness doing in a pumpkin beer? Adding the unexpected kick of cranberry juice to brighten this traditionally spiced seasonal ale. Pumpkick is brewed with plenty of pumpkin juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but it’s the cranberries and touch of lemongrass that send your taste buds sailing.
Also, a few limited specialty beers will be part of the Pittsburgh launch. Be on the lookout!
The arrival of New Belgium in Pittsburgh is one of the most anticipated debuts of the summer. In order to stay connected to everything leading up to August 31st and beyond, here are some things you can do today:
– Download New Belgium’s app Beer Mode for free in the App Store or Google Play and discover everything you need to know about the brewery, the beers, the new releases, and more!
– Sign up for New Belgium’s Grand Cru Rewards! Click Here to learn all about this great incentive program.
– Download PCBN Connect to your smartphone or tablet and stay close to the Events & Happenings calendar as we begin to post New Belgium launch events as they come together over the next several weeks!
Ladies and gentlemen, New Belgium is on its way to the ‘Burgh. I guess it’s time we start planning Pittsburgh’s first ever Tour De Fat n’at!
Welcome New Belgium!